For starters, the party after the triathlon in Erding brought with it a chance encounter that may have saved my leg. The partner of one of Sabine's co-workers at the City of Munich is a PT, and when she happened to see my leg—which I believed was healing well and which had not raised the eyebrows of my regular physical therapists—she only said: "Your leg looks like that of an 80-year-old diabetic—there is no circulation in some parts." At the party she started to use a technique called FDM to loosen the fascia and thus started to break up all the muck that was keeping fluids from leaving the area. Brigitte Schmailzl is a PT in Munich who works with Olympic athletes, and it was immediately clear that she knew what she was doing. Those first 25 minutes of massage at the party hurt like hell, but the color of the skin started to improve; on Monday and then Wednesday I went to her clinic in Munich and received two more almost two-hour-long treatments. What a difference they made! I still have fluid in my knee joint, but the skin over the shin bone and the incisions have a healthy color, and things are so much better.
|Our first view of Lake Garda, Italy|
|The view from our balcony|
|Narrow, scary roads are the norm around Lake Garda|
|A limonaie—in the winter, a removable roof and shutters protected the lemon trees|
|Lemon trees carry fruit in this limonaie|
|Sabine's Skoda barely fit through some of these narrow streets|
My flight from Munich to London to Dallas to Lubbock worked out like clockwork. The transatlantic segment had been upgraded to Business Class, so I was able to elevate my leg much better than in the back of the bus, and from DFW to Lubbock American flew a full-sized S80, which has a First Class section—we were two passengers up front, with 92 more in the back. I hope AA will keep this service! Airport transfers as well as clearing customs with my luggage (the Ritchey, the rolling Patagonia duffel with my regular stuff and my now-checked former carry-on) were no problem as I had requested special assistance from the airlines. Lounge access in Heathrow and Dallas made the long layovers not only bearable but pleasant. Just security took a little longer since the new hardware in the leg set off the red flags!
|These pics are so pretty I just had to include them; I think it is 19 screws|
So, there I am. The first few days were filled with trying to catch up with 7 weeks of mail, being driven around to the grocery store and the pool, trying to find back to my life. Just yesterday I finally couldn't stand it any longer and wedged myself into the Miata—lo and behold, I can drive myself! It feels good to be back at my house, and it is wonderful to have friends on this side of the pond as well.
It will be a while before I am back to where I was just two months ago, but I will get there. Maybe there will be fewer blog updates, and most likely the next few will be punctuated by fewer pics of exotic locales. But I intend to get all this behind me as quickly as I can, with as much patience as is necessary, and then a little extra for those unexpected dark moments. Thanks for reading and all the encouragement over these past two months, and don't write me off just yet. :)